Nambers

Update The Namber DNS server is no longer running, but the source code is now available. (November 9, 2008)

What's a namber?

A namber is part name and part number. Each number between 0 and 255 has a namber. For example, 1 is fun and 213 is star.

A namber address is an internet address that uses nambers. For example, mysteryrobot.com's namber is drum.start.orange.hope.mysteryrobot.com.

Each computer on the internet has an address of four numbers. These numbers are translated to nambers to form the namber address. For example, mysteryrobot.com's internet address is 65.214.160.117. The namber for 65 is drum, 214 is start, 160 is orange, and 117 is hope. mysteryrobot.com is added because mysteryrobot.com's DNS server is need to make the translation back to an internet address.

Some more examples:

What's my namber?

Why nambers?

Because we thought it'd be amusing. Nambers are not terribly useful. They won't change the internet or DNS as we know it.

How did you choose the nambers?

We started with elementary school spelling lists we found on the web. We tried to choose words that were common, memorable, easy to spell, and did not sound like other words in the list. This was more difficult than we imagined. You can view the complete list here.

Related work

IP Mnemonics    IP Mnemonics also encodes IP addresses as four words from a list of 256 words. The words are three-letter words taken from the Unix dict dictionary. The advantage of IP Mnemonics is the words are short. But, because the number of three-letter words is limited, the list includes many sound-alikes, like bid and bit.

PGPfone Biometric word list    PGPfone used a computer to find a list of phonetically distinct words for encoding data. The encoding is fine for verifying data over the phone. But many of the words are uncommon and hard to spell, so it would be difficult to use it to transmit data by voice.

Mnemonic encoder    This encoding converts 32 bits of data to three words from a 1626 word list. The word list includes many uncommon and hard to spell words like calypso and ibiza.

Military Alphabet or International Civil Aviation Organization code     This is a mnemonic for letters. A is alpha and Z is zulu. It's a great code for reading letters over a radio or a bad phone line. However, for our purposes, there aren't enough letters/words and the words are uncommon and hard-to-spell.

About

Nambers were conceived by David Helder. The namber DNS server was written in Python using Twisted.

Source Code

DISCLAIMER

Nambers are an experiment. The number to namber translation may change. There is only one namber DNS server and it does not run all the time. If a computer's internet address changes then its namber address will change. Do not use a namber address as a web site address -- it may not work next week. Nambers are not a good replacement for DynDNS.

This service is provided in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.


Copyright (C) 2003 - David Helder